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Archive for December, 2006

It’s Friday evening and even though I could probably go out for a few drinks with some friends, I simply don’t have the energy! I’m still recuperating from yesterday’s day of work. My assignment at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre proved to be quite tiring! The experience was one for the books but the assignment itself was very unorganised. Once I was actually inside I didn’t know who to report to, what I was meant to be doing or how anything worked! After a bit, it became very evident that the newbies, such as myself, were delegated to do bottom rung tasks such as wheel chef’s trolleys around and, collect and scrape food bits off of dishes. My agency had told me I was doing plate-up service, which is actually quite wonderful because you get to actually put the food on the plate and make it look presentable. What I was doing was more of a kitchen hand/catering assistant job. The best part of the night was getting a free dinner from the leftovers: grilled tofu served on a bed of curried red lentils and a sweet vinaigrette reduction. So yum.School was sooooo boring today. I really do feel like I’m in high school or middle school on Fridays (theory days). However, my studying paid off because I got a 97.5% on my latest assessment. Why do the Indian students think it’s appropriate or even acceptable to speak Hindi (or what have you) all throughout class? I really do think that because we’re in an English-speaking educational institution, English should really be the main language spoken in class. It’s got nothing to do with the fact that I can’t understand them, it’s just annoying because they speak all during class, especially when the instructor is trying to explain the in the most simple of terms the concepts that will appear on the assessment that they will most likely fail, once again. I’m not worried about myself, I’m just annoyed with the sticky slow speed I’m forced to learn this stuff at.

I’m really hoping this job lead works out! It’s be the perfect job to have for 4-6 months or until I can learn enough to get a position at a proper restaurant. I get the feeling that until I’m actually done with my course and officially a “qualified cook” by industry standards I won’t be doing too much else in the kitchen besides kitchen hand tasks. I’ll just have to take this thing day by day, it’s the only way to do it.

This coming week is my last week of school until late January, so I can work for as many hours as my little heart desires. Must. Earn. Money.

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I had my first assignment with my staffing agency yesterday and I must say that it was great. It’s exactly the work I’m looking for. I spent most of the time washing dishes, but I did get to do some food prep, such as making sandwiches and wraps. It’s called kitchen hand work. Last night around 9:45 pm my staffing agency called me in for another assignment as a catering assistant doing “plate up” for a function at the Melbourne Convention Centre. I’m guessing that since my first assignment went well, I’m no longer a risk for them to send me out on assignments. Money is finally coming into my bank account!
While I was eating breakfast, just a few moments ago, the head office of a particular food establishment called me to ask if I was still interested in working for them as a cook. I was secretly hoping that it’d be my staffing agency calling to say my position had been cancelled, but it was even better. They are going to train me to be a cook (if they hire me)! This is just the opportunity I was looking for to get some work experience in the kitchen. It’s by no means a top restaurant or anything, but when you’re starting from the bottom, whatever work I can get that is going to help me climb the ladder of hospitality work will have to suffice.Last night Will and I went out for dinner at Veggie Bar in Fitzroy to celebrate our six years of fabulousness together. Unfortunately I don’t have rave reviews about my dinner, or the food there in general for that matter. Everything else about the restaurant is great, except for the food, which is just OK. I’ve been there a few times and have never been blown away by the flavours. Last night I ordered one of the specials: Cran-Brie Pizza. It was a great idea executed rather poorly. It was more or less a thin pizza crust slathered in a sweet cranberry jam topped with slices of brie and tofu. It tasted great, but I felt like I was eating a dessert or a breakfast, not dinner. The cranberry was too sweet and was over-slathered.

In general, they just don’t add enough salt to their food. I don’t even know if they even add salt. Salt in moderation is good for you and it’s rather necesarry in cooking to bring out the natural flavours of the food. I found that the vegetarian restaurant I worked at also had a salt phobia with their cooking techniques. Salt is good for food; use it!

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